Sunday, June 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Happy Customers...But Will They Come Back?

Restaurant customer service has been a big focus as patrons—particularly millennials—seek a dining experience, not just a meal out. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s just one part of the equation that adds up to return visits, and industry-wide data is telling a concerning story...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, May 28, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

4 Ways to Save Costs Without Guest Service Charges

Feeling the pressure from rising restaurant overhead costs? Beyond rising ingredient costs as patrons demand clean and organic choices, many other business expenses are on the rise. Serving and cleaning supplies and other commodities cost more. Minimum wage is increasing at federal, state, and local levels. Real estate and rental costs are an increasing burden for in-demand locations—a growing challenge for established stores in newly-revitalized downtowns, for example...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, May 14, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Trends to Watch in Restaurant Menu Items

The business of dining out faces increasing challenges from several food-related fronts. Not only are grocery stores rising to the “clean eating” desires of potential restaurant patrons, but lower prices at the market are making eating out more of an event than a whim. Restaurants that will thrive in the current landscape will rise to challenge and be mindful of new and coming trends, and how they affect their menu...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, April 30, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Winning Patrons With Sustainable and Responsible Ingredients

Local and sustainable are among the most desirable ingredient features at restaurants these days—particularly when it comes to produce and seafood. When combined with reducing food waste—another top interest—restaurants that can meet this challenge appeal to consumers who want to support their local economies, eat sustainable foods, and contribute positively to such global ambitions as feeding the hungry and caring for the environment...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, April 16, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Delicious Brunch Promotions to Drive Weekend Revenue

Brunch! Everyone’s favorite meal. Customers love it because it turns a Sunday morning into a mini celebration. Restaurant owners depend on it to drive sales. Are you getting the most out of your brunch menu? Is weekend revenue spiking high or taking a nap?

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, April 2, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Urban Farm-to-Table Transforming City Restaurants

Farm-fresh produce was once merely a seasonal option, and only truly available to restaurants within driving distance of rural farming communities. But technology is now happily intersecting with the consumer demand for farm-to-table dining, making it possible for year-round local produce to become a restaurant staple...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, March 26, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Expand Your Dessert Program with a Cheese Course

Dessert may be your most challenging course to sell. Too many people completely skip the menu and go straight to the bill. By expanding your dessert menu, you’ll be able to entice a more diverse array of snackers—not just those with a sweet tooth!

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, March 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Winning at Customer Experience

Basic customer service isn’t optional for a successful business, but companies—including restaurants—that take it to the next level of planning and creating a great customer experience enjoy greater revenue and profit than competitors that don’t.

 

The reason such businesses are winning at customer experience (CX) is because they understand that it doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a plan, research, execution, and continual evaluation...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Dining With Generation Z

The children of the 1970s and ‘80s were the first to be labeled by a single letter: Generation X. Following them came the Millennials (also called Generation Y), who became young adults in the early 2000s. But the latest coming-of-age consumer group—Generation Z (or Post-Millennials)—is contributing dollars and influence (as the largest, and growing, segment of the U.S. population) that should make restaurants take notice. Here’s how you can win while serving Gen Z...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Protecting Your Restaurant From Embezzlement

Fraud and embezzlement take a significant toll on a company’s bottom line. The average annual loss across organizations, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, is 5%—but with smaller companies often falling victim to greater losses, the impact on restaurants could be much higher...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Restaurant Industry Analysts Divided on 2017 Forecast

Investing in the restaurant industry reveals optimism among investors—will 2017 be a better year, enough to justify the 13% stock growth over the past couple months? Restaurant industry analysts and forecasters don’t think so, expecting sales to remain similar or marginally better than 2016. So why the discrepancy?

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Friday, December 16, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Want Great Customer Service? Treat Employees Well

Quality customer service is a value that many—if not most—companies would consider a priority and even a differentiating point when compared to competitors. Hospitality companies (including hotels and restaurants), in particular, would likely all say they offer good customer service. But to truly provide exceptional customer service a company must excel at employee service: employees that are well cared for in the workplace are the employees who will pass that on to consumers. And if employees are not treated well and valued, long term success at customer service will be unattainable...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, September 11, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Chef Uniform Functions: How to Dress in the Profesisonal Kitchen

A chef uniform is much more than a garment you’re required to wear to work. Each part of your ensemble plays a specific role in protecting you from everyday kitchen dangers. A typical chef uniform is a chef’s jacket, chef pants, a hat, a neckerchief, an apron, good slip-resistant shoes, and sometimes a hand towel. Even if you aren’t required to wear all parts of the ensemble, your chef uniform still serves a purpose.

Let’s discuss what each part of your chef uniform is designed to do. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not just a fashion statement—each article of clothing serves a specific function...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, August 28, 2016 7:00:22 AM America/Detroit

Fabric Care Instructions

Although proper maintenance of your garment does require a small amount of effort, in the long run it can greatly extend the life of your garment. We recommend following all procedures exactly, without substitutions or alterations...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, August 14, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

A Little Bit of History Behind Chef Coats

Modern day chef coats are available in a multitude of styles and colors to suit anyone’s tastes. But it wasn’t always that way things were. Whether you’re a chef, cook, or simply appreciative of food, you’ll be interested to know how the chef ensemble evolved over time...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, July 31, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Differences Between Aprons and Smocks

When you think of a smock you probably think of the garment you wore in art class to protect your clothing.  It pulls over your head, covers the front and back top half of your body, has pockets and ties at the side.  This design is actually a “cobbler apron”.   Smocks are quite different than aprons and to ensure you are buying the proper apparel for your needs, we are going to provide you with everything you need to know about smocks...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, July 17, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Recruiting Challenges Major Concern for Quick-Service Restaurants

After a slight end-of-2015 improvement, 2016 has been tough for quick-service restaurant staff recruiting, and analysts expect it to only get worse. Recruiting challenges are at an all-time high, as reported in the People Report Workforce Index. The Workforce Index, launched in 2006, uses a baseline measurement of 50. Higher values (above 50), show greater difficulty in:

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, July 3, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Can Gas Prices Affect Your Restaurant

Gas prices have been much more affordable in 2016 than in recent years. But with a 50¢ jump (US average) in the last 3 months, you might be wondering if gas prices can affect your restaurant business.

 

Lower gas prices can mean a huge savings for commuters and those who travel a lot by car. Consumers tend to spend 80% of what they save on lower fuel costs on other goods and services—and about 1/5 of that savings on restaurants. But higher gas prices encourage (or require) consumers to cut discretionary spending across the board. So “luxuries” like eating out can suffer...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, June 19, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

To Tip or Not to Tip? Hospitality Included.

There is a movement in New York City restaurants that many may not fully understand. The Hospitality Included Movement aims to eliminate tipping in restaurants. This movement started to gain traction in October of 2015 when Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group announced that their restaurant group would phase out tipping from their family of restaurants. They started with their restaurant The Modern which is housed on the ground floor of the Museum of Modern Art and will continue phasing out tipping with the rest of their restaurants this year. Besides this group, there is also a collection of Brooklyn restaurants committed to eliminating tipping who advocate including the cost of service in food prices.

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, June 5, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Fast Food Discounts and the Food Service Enviornment

Recently there has been a trend among quick service (fast food) establishments to offer bundled discounts not part of their normal value or combination meals. Hardees and Carl’s Jr. offer a 4-for $4 deal, Burger King has started offering a 5-for $4 deal, McDonalds is offering a 2 for $2 meal and Wendy’s is offering a 4 for $4 deal as well.

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, May 22, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

3 Critical Issues Food Service Operators Face in 2016

As 2015 has just passed, we take a look at some of the most critical issues that food service operators and restaurant owners may face throughout 2016.

According to the National Employment Law Project, around the start of 2016, 14 states including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont saw minimum wage increases from previous legislation and initiatives.

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, May 8, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Consumers are Eating Lunch More Than Ever

For many limited service restaurants, lunch is a key part of their business and a golden opportunity all food service restaurants in general. Thankfully, according to a new study sponsored by American Express, consumers are eating Lunch more than a few years ago.

This study polled 2000 patrons, 1,500 in May of 2011 and another 500 in October of 2015. Compared to the 48% of diners that were polled in 2011 who rarely skipped lunch, 64% of those polled in 2015 rarely skipped lunch demonstrating a 16% increase in those who never or rarely skip lunch.

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Chef’s Foot: Time to Take a Stand For Your Feet

Being a chef is sometimes a pain in the feet. Chefs and culinary workers are typically on their feet more than 10 hours a day, 6 days per week, and for an estimated 120,000 hours during the course of a career. And the damage is not from excessive walking and running. The damage is from the long periods of standing...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, March 20, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

The Presidential Candidates’ on Minimum Wage

In relation to our blog post - To Tip or not to Tip? Hospitality Included  – this post explores what the current position on minimum wage and the tip credit of the presidential front runners from each party. According to the Department of Labor, the Federal tipped wage is $2.13 per hour for employees that receive at least $30 per month in tips. If those employees make less than the minimum wage after tips, the employer is required to make the employee’s wages whole up to the minimum wage depending on the state...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Creating a Buzz on Social Media

These days food and social media go hand in hand. Restaurants are taking advantage of food culture and social media to create buzz. Technology is creating an opportunity for people to make a choice and the businesses to make a profit. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all have a role in the revolution of advertising...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, March 13, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

What will your menu say to your customers?

The jury has reached a verdict. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay for now. With that comes a rule that anyone who has tried to diet and dine out will appreciate. Menu Labeling. The art of exposing the truth about the nutritional value of the entrees bigger chain restaurant’s serve. For the restaurant owners, they have some work to do but for the rest of America, they get to sit back and enjoy a deliciously cooked meal served to them and their families without the guilt. Diners can expect a lot of changes to the menus of their familiar chain establishments in the next 6-12 months...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Restaurants Greet the Spring with Outdoor Dining

People are eager to welcome spring—from the east coast to the west—and it’s showing in their dining preferences. Restaurant owners can participate in this celebration in two key ways:

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, March 6, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Soda Ban Case: Restaurant and Beverage Industries Relieved

The Soda Ban Death:  No Limits on Consumption

There’s been a lot of national debate about soda and sugary drinks lately. Who should regulate the size of the drinks?  With the rise in health problems from sugary drinks, should the beverage industry list warnings? Who should be responsible to address the overconsumption of these beverages by many Americans?  A New York State Appeals Court ruled on June 24th that restaurants delis, and fast food franchises do not bear the responsibility to restrict consumers. Many may have raised a large glass of soda just to celebrate the ruling...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Kids’ Activity: Baking or Cooking Themed Party and Apron Decorating

Looking for that perfect activity for your child’s birthday party, Girl Scout Troop, or 4-H Club? Most kids like to bake and cook, but there’s a long wait between the time when the cakes or pizzas go into the oven and the time when they’re ready to eat.  While you wait, the kids could decorate their own aprons, which they can then take home as a reminder of the day...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, February 28, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

How to Save on Restaurant Equipment Repairs

The costs of running a restaurant can add up quickly, making it difficult to earn a profit. It’s especially hard in a tough economy. That’s why some restaurant owners often prefer to leave maintenance of their equipment out of their budgets. They simply feel the funds could be better spent elsewhere.

 

Sometimes it takes an emergency to discover why regular equipment maintenance is worth the price tag. Steve Pottinger, vice president of operations at the Greer Companies, learned the importance of continual care when one of his locations had an exhaust fan go out. If it wasn’t fixed immediately, it might have caused smoke to fill up the kitchen within minutes. The Cheddar’s restaurant was able to avoid a serious crisis because the manager reached a technician in time...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Consumers Turn to Grocery and Convenience Stores for Prepared Food

Grocery and convenience stores change the type of food they offer

Recently, convenience and grocery stores have made a switch from the traditional foods they have offered in the past, such as rotisserie chicken, deli meats, and cold prepared foods made to be reheated at home, to foods that more closely resemble what you may find in a quick service restaurant or a buffet...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, February 21, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Why Your Restaurant Needs YOU to Champion the Menu Labeling Requirements

Can I get a calorie count with my order? This will be a popular question that restaurants will need to have an accurate answer for sooner than you think. Finally we will get answers and public heath becomes front and center for consumers!


With about eight months to go before the menu labeling deadline, many restaurants are wondering if they can get it done in time. Restaurants owners may think they need a hero but a champion would do...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

How Restaurant Brands Can Team Up With Athletes

American sports fans are passionate about their teams. Because of this strong alliance between athletes and their admirers, restaurants have a great opportunity to partner with teams and leagues to create positive brand images that ultimately increase customer sales.

 

Several restaurant chains have already taken advantage of the benefits that come with team association. These partnerships have made a difference in restaurant brand exposure within their communities on both a national and local level, enabling increased awareness among sports fans...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Chef Coats: Keeping Them Clean and Bright

Sparkling white chef coats are the hallmark of a great kitchen. They represent mastery, an eye for detail, and professionalism, but a dirty chef coat looks sub-standard and careless.  Let’s face it, the chef in a dazzling white coat looks nearly god-like…Olympian…better than human...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Fast Food Discounts and The Food Service Environment

Recently there has been a trend among quick service (fast food) establishments to offer bundled discounts not part of their normal value or combination meals. Hardees and Carl’s Jr. offer a 4-for $4 deal, Burger King has started offering a 5-for $4 deal, McDonalds is offering a 2 for $2 meal and Wendy’s is offering a 4 for $4 deal as well...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, February 7, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Food Menu Label Changes And How It Affects Restaurant Owners

The Food and Drug Administration released new menu labeling rules last month, designed to bring a uniform system for restaurants in America. Some of the new rules however still remain unclear for restaurant owners.

According to the new rules, by December 2015, all restaurant chains with 20 or more units will be required to post calorie counts for regular menu items on menus and menu boards, while also offering more detailed information upon request in their restaurants...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Choosing High Quality Aprons

Why Choose High Quality Aprons

Restaurants use them. Hosts of parties wear them. Even vendors on street corners can be seen with them. They’re aprons and they’ve been around since the twelfth century, protecting clothes in farming, metalwork and food preparation. Today aprons are still extremely important. That’s because this piece of protective clothing promotes cleanliness and good hygiene, which are two essential aspects when it comes to handling food...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, January 31, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Creative Ways to Motivate Employees

In a recent series of Forbes articles on motivating employees,  Victor Lipman addresses the idea of how to motivate employees when things like salary increases and bonuses simply aren’t an option. Many of the suggestions that he makes might be more appropriate for those working in corporate America (such as office space, free parking spaces, and bigger-ticket items like sporting event tickets, spa weekends, and fancy dinners), but those in the restaurant industry could still benefit from applying his ideas...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Turning a Negative into a Positive: Strategies for Dealing with Criticism and Complaints

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the idea that people remember negative experiences far more clearly than positive experiences, and these negative experiences have a much more lasting effect on people than do positive experiences. While the article in question discussed the implications of this phenomenon for corporate America, it also has implications for those in the restaurant industry, both in regard to employees as well as to customers...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, January 24, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Work Stress for Cooks and Chefs: Heat in the Kitchen

Wanted for Immediate Hire: Unique individual, with physical prowess, willing to be a team player and lose fingers, slip on grease, or be scalded while lifting heavy pots of hot liquids. Adaptable and eager to try new, hard to pronounce afflictions of the feet, back, neck and shoulders. High performance required in emotionally toughness, consistent acquiescence, and unflappable stoicism in the face of bullying and stress. Guaranteed promotion after 20 years of perfect service. Hiring cooks and chef apprentices now (as we are currently experiencing a staffing crisis)...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

A History of Chef Hats: Tall Tales or Facts

Almost anyone who is part of our modern culture recognizes the tall white hat typically worn by chefs.  It’s called a “toque blanch,” which means white hat in French, and is referred to as just a “toque” for short. There is much said about the origin, but it’s not easy to sort out the tall tales from the facts. 

 

What is the history of the chef hat? Why do chefs don that funny looking headwear?

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, January 17, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Deal Driven Restaurant Traffic in Decline

Deal-Driven Restaurant Traffic in Decline

One good indicator that the economy has improved is that consumers are not as concerned with discounts when choosing their restaurant meals. According to research by the NPD Group, people aren’t putting value menus over every other consideration when it comes to dining out now. In fact, for the 12 months ending in August of 2012, non-deal restaurant traffic actually increased 1 percent. For the second consecutive 12-month period of time, restaurant visitors are proving that they don’t feel the need to be as frugal as they did at the height of the recession in 2008...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

How To Improve the Negative Image of Restaurants

How to Improve the Negative Image of Restaurants

Today’s society regards restaurants in a less than favorable light. People tend to look at careers in this industry as limited and only for the short term. Yet there are many great aspects of the restaurant business that are routinely overlooked. In addition to being the largest employer in the United States besides the government, restaurants have consistently shown job growth over the last twelve years. These are positive facts that are often overshadowed by the negative image assigned to restaurant employment in general...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, January 10, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Ordering Food Online

Fast food has gotten even faster thanks to online ordering. It appeals to people of all walks of life. It offers the answer for mom or dad looking for a quick dinner solution when they are pressed for time or the casual get together looking to feed hungry guests without having to pick up the phone and call your order in. Online ordering is the way of the future. People want convenience. The world is in a hurry and if you want to sell them the food, you need to make the ordering process as fast and painless as possible...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Restaurants Readying for Stop Swipe Changes for Credit Card Payments

No More Swiping.

A well-known Friday night scene at an Italian restaurant—the family at the corner booth is finished, surfeited to capacity on tiramisu, bread sticks, and double crust pizza. Time to pay.  Dad (or whomever) reaches into his wallet and hands the waiter his credit card. This scene will be archaic soon because of the upcoming changes to a new credit card system...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, January 3, 2016 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

The Importance of Uniforms

The Importance of Uniforms

Your restaurant has an image to present. In addition to the quality of food and the appeal of the environment you offer, your staff members embody an important impression to patrons in your community. And a significant aspect of your employees’ appearance involves the uniforms they wear each day...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, October 4, 2015 7:00:01 AM America/Detroit

How Affordable is the Affordable Care Act

As it stands now, it seems that the Affordable Care Act isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With that in mind, businesses are now starting to shift their focus on understanding the new laws and taking action to stay compliant. The restaurant industry is no exception...
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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, July 26, 2015 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Quick Service Restaurant Generational Trends in 2015

What do Starbuck’s, Wendy’s, Panera Bread, Corner Bakery, and Taco Bell have in common?

They are all quick service restaurants competing for new business and trying to keep it. We live in a society based on convenience and instant results. Todays consumers are too busy to cook at home but still are looking for healthy, cost effective meals...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Craft Brews Growing Strong: Time to Tap Into the Trend?

American Craft Brew Week was celebrated May 12th through May 19th and recent reports indicate that craft brews are the now winning in growth over the big breweries.  Techtomics “2014 Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report” stated that craft beer production was up 9.6 per cent while overall beer production fell by 1.4 per cent in 2013. This rise is accompanied by new trends with craft beer brewing, and a movement in the restaurant industry—from upscale restaurants to neighborhood dives—to include a selections of local craft brews on the menu...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, May 10, 2015 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Wage Hike: Yay or Nay?

The debate over the state's minimum wage can go in two directions, according to Buffalo attorney Kevin Burke. Some people are in favor of higher wages and see it as a need for lower-income workers and their families while organizations such as national and state business councils fear the worst, he said...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Top Culinary Trends for 2015

Locally sourced meat, seafood, and produce is expected to be the top continuing culinary trend in 2015, according to a survey of chefs done by the National Restaurant Association.

 

The NRA recently released their “What's Hot in 2015” Culinary Forecast where they surveyed over 1,300 chefs. The survey allows restaurant owners to examine what was popular over the past year and predicts what the most popular trends will be moving forward...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, August 31, 2014 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Fast-Casual Restaurants Firing Up for Pizza

Fast-casual restaurants continues to dominate growth in the industry. Consumers have already been enjoying sandwiches, burritos, pasta, salads and burgers at fast-casual venues. Chipotle, Panera, Noodles and Company, Baja Fresh, and Five Guys are key leaders in the fast-casual trend. According to Fortune Magazine’s predictions, pizza may be the next craze on the fast-casual restaurant trend. Pizza had been slow to join in because prep time tends to be at least 15 minutes. However, new chains are using smaller ovens that can cook a pizza in less than 5 minutes. Fast-casual pizza restaurants are springing up and Chipotle even announced at the end of 2013 their intention to join in on the fast-casual pizza trend...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, August 3, 2014 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Summer Salad Trends for Restaurants

Leave the Lettuce.  To Infinity and Beyond Iceberg.

The side salad and salad bar don’t satisfy today’s health conscious diner. Consumers are wanting something beyond iceberg lettuce. They’re asking for salads with superpowers for health and taste. They want really fresh ingredients (preferably locally grown) with lighter dressings and healthier greens. According to Nations Restaurant News, 2014 has been a big year for salads because of the new summer salad trends for restaurants. What’s on your salad plate?

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Beef Sales in Restaurants See Steady Growth

Beef Sales in the restaurant industry have not gone out to pasture. Despite rising costs on beef, 2013 showed record sales—both on volume and value. Beef remains a top protein choice with consumers according to the 2013 Usage and Volumetric Assessment of Beef in Foodservice Report conducted by Technomic. Despite the challenges to this commodity of draughts which contributed to higher feed prices and resulted in ranchers to decreasing their herd size, beef is on the menu to stay. The supply is lower, but consumer demand for quality beef has not waned, but has actually increased...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, May 4, 2014 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Cost Increases to Hit Breakfast Favorites: How to Keep People Coming

Breakfast is Number One. 

At the close of 2013, breakfast was the winner for the third successive year as the number 1 meal that increases restaurant traffic. It was the leader for traffic growth in 2013, with an increase of 3 percent (whereas lunch and dinner traffic fell). Forecasts for breakfast traffic over the next 9 years was originally predicted for a 7 percent increase according to a food study by NPD Group and reported by National Restaurant News.  However, recent changes in pricing of commodities and produce could have a drastic effect on breakfast offerings. Breakfast used to be the least costly meal for consumers to buy (and for restaurants to produce). But breakfast foods are about to get pricier. Some favorite items on your restaurant’s breakfast menu—bacon, orange juice, coffee, cheese, fresh fruits—are or will be seeing price increases...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, February 23, 2014 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Ancient Grains Make a Culinary Comeback: Will you be trending?

National Restaurant Association's 2014 “What’s Hot Survey” listing the Top 20 Trends indicated 3 new trends relating to grains: (1) addition of gluten-free cuisine, (2) pasta made from alternate grains, and use of ancient grains in more menu selections...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, December 29, 2013 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Sustainable Seafood: Are you Hooked Yet?

“Sustainable seafood” was listed on the National Restaurant Association’s Guide of Top Ten Trends for What’s Hot for 2014. What is sustainable seafood and why should restaurants be concerned with this? Charles Clover, environment editor for London’s Daily Telegraph and author of The End of the Line states that 80 per cent of the world’s fish supplies are fully exploited or over exploited and some have made it to the critically endangered list. A growing number of consumers are appearing at restaurants with their pocket guides to sustainable seafood or are seeking restaurants that have been rated by Fish2fork...

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Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Saturday, November 30, 2013 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Chefs Predict 2014 Menu Trends

The National Restaurant Association asked chefs for their opinions on menu trends for the upcoming year. In its “What’s Hot in 2014” survey, the NRA reached out to almost 1,300 members of the American Culinary Federation throughout October and November. The questionnaire instructed them to rate 258 items as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or a “perennial favorite” for 2014...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Sunday, October 13, 2013 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Finding the Best Chef Shoes is Like Guitar Shopping

Looking for the perfect (or just satisfactory) chef shoe is a lot like guitar shopping. I’m a veteran guitarist, not a chef, but when I read forums and reviews where chefs talk about their shoes, it feels very familiar.

 

What must I think about when making an instrument purchase decision?: My aesthetic tastes, my budget (usually pretty meager), the style of music I play, my self image, my physical abilities and structure, my musical abilities, and the most important: What will my bandmates think?

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 7:00:00 AM America/Detroit

Restaurants Confront a Shortened Holiday Season

Although retailers, which include restaurants, feel positive about increasing sales during the 2013 holiday season, foodservice operators realize they must have a plan to manage through a more frantic time of year. Since there are 6 fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than in 2012, it is sure to be stressful for restaurants and other retail establishments...

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0 Comments | Posted By Mike Cielinski